Day At The Track

Stud career or 2012 NZ Cup for Sir Lincoln?

05:06 AM 15 May 2012 NZST
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Sir Lincoln and Maurice McKendry John Street and Graeme Blackburn (right)
Sir Lincoln and Maurice McKendry - winning the 2012 Auckland Cup at Alexandra Park.
Duane Ranger Photo
John Street and Graeme Blackburn (right) - After winning the $250,000 Auckland Cup
Duane Ranger Photo

Was Sir Lincoln's first standing start in seven months at northern harness racing headquarters - Alexandra Park last Friday (May 11) - a sign of things to come; or is he now destined for a career at stud?

Co-owner John Street was abroad when contacted by Harnesslink but his fellow-owner Graeme Blackburn said he would be in a better position to evaluate Sir Lincoln's future "in two weeks".

Stud options have been discussed, including talks with Alabar Stud. If Sir Lincoln (1:54.5) is retired the 5-year-old Mach Three entire will end his career the winner of 18 of his 48 races (13 placings) and $620,232.

But perhaps Sir Lincoln's first standing start since October 14 was a sign of things to come?

Is the New Zealand Cup now an option after he was a shock withdrawal from last year's big race when paying $10? Instead he raced in the Junior Free-For-All that day and finished sixth.

Back then Street told Harnesslink that he wanted standing starts abolished and for that reason would not be lining Sir Lincoln Up in the 2011 New Zealand Cup.

That comment came just three days after Sir Lincoln was disqualified from third for galloping inwards and impeding Pembrook Benny in a $15,000 Pace at Alexandra Park.

The horse was then declared unruly.

But Blackburn said he and Street had held long discussions since then.

"John has calmed down a bit and after long talks we realise that if the horse is going to race again - well the New Zealand Cup should be an option now - especially when he can win it. We are evaluating every option for this horse," Blackburn said.

Blackburn's 2012 Auckland Cup winner had every reason to line up in last Friday's Group Three $25,000 Pak N Save Kumeu Stakes - after all his connections sponsored the race.

With most of the open class pacers now spelling for next season's big Group Ones is Sir Lincoln now having one last campaign before he retires?

Green, who wants to train Sir Lincoln for another year, said because he only raced two weeks ago in Sydney his owners were keen to start because of their connection to the race.

Sir Lincoln finished a close-up second last Friday from his 30m handicap after Jarcullembra sat in the trail and sprinted hard, late. He pulled too hard in the Len Smith Mile the start prior and before that Sir Lincoln was also an unlucky second from an outside draw, also at Tabcorp Park, Menangle.

So what now?

Blackburn said he would reveal Sir Lincoln's future on or about May 29 once he has had further deliberations with Street.

Sir Lincoln was also bred by Blackburn and Street's company - Lincoln Farms.

By Duane RANGER (editor)

Sir Lincoln winning the Group One $250,000 Auckland Cup at Alexandra Park on March 9, 2012:

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